Archives: Voices

Report: After five years of minimum wage increases, New York City’s restaurant industry is thriving

Five years after New York State passed the first of several laws to gradually raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, New York City’s restaurant industry continues to thrive, with strong growth in restaurant industry employment, wages, and the number of establishments around the city, according to a new report released by the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School and the National Employment Law Project.

Register Today: CHN Census Poverty Data Webinar Wednesday, Sept. 4.

On September 10th, the Census Bureau will release national poverty and income data, as well as nationwide and state health insurance data. CHN will host a webinar at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 in which we will preview the data and explain how navigate the Census Bureau’s web site to find the data you need. The webinar is entitled, “What Can We Expect from the New Poverty, Income and Health Insurance Data, And How Can We Find the Info We Need?”

Act now to prevent cuts to 3.1 million SNAP recipients

Food assistance is at risk — again. Just months after Congress rejected cuts to our most important food assistance program (SNAP), the Administration is now proposing to implement, through executive action, a second SNAP benefits cut it failed to secure through legislation. You can take action to stop this from happening.

It’s About Time Everyone Cares about Politics

Butting heads. Name-calling. Gridlock. Threats of shutdowns. An infuriating lack of progress. We can all agree that government today is polarized, at least on the federal level.

Vulnerable people are everywhere

People often ask me, “Where are you from?” While this is simply a polite question, I laugh, because the answer is more complicated than you might think. I try to figure out how to answer without telling a stranger my life story. I was born in Korea as a citizen there, raised in the Philippines, flew to the U.S. three years ago, and now reside in Virginia for college – simple, right? It’s true that my background often places me in rather confusing situations, but I am immensely thankful to have had the opportunity to grow in a multicultural environment.

Trump’s asylum rule violates both domestic and international law

Thousands of asylum seekers flee to the United States. Often victims of serious violent crimes, they come in pursuit of safety and a better life. But if the Trump Administration has its way, they may reach a dead end. 
Administration officials recently announced an interim final rule; If asylum seekers fail to apply for protection while in a safe third country first, the new rule will deny asylum to those who enter, or attempt to enter, the U.S through the southern border. The Trump Administration believes this will deter those who are “misusing the asylum system.” However, this rule will also place thousands of people in peril.

ICE Arrests 680 Immigrant Workers in Mississippi

With no advance warning to schools or social service agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents launched raids on 7 food processing plants in Mississippi on August 7, arresting 680 workers. Advocates, service providers, and lawyers in Mississippi and others from outside the state are joining in the effort to help the families affected. This is a traumatic experience for entire communities, with long-term consequences for children.

Enough is Enough

People of conscience have a choice.  We can go numb, or we can demand action. Numbness was overtaking us as the news of El Paso, then Dayton, then Chicago flooded the media.  The needless deaths, lives cut short in split-seconds.  The heroic mother and father.  Hate assaulting the innocent. But how can we let this wash over us and not try – once more – to do something that could save lives?
We must be undeterred.  Mr. President, inciting white supremacist, anti-immigrant impulses has led to people’s deaths.  In their memories, let us take this single-minded step together to enact background check legislation. Please call your Senators.  And let that be the first of many steps away from hate and violence.

The color of money

“The problem with democracy, is that it has not yet been tried.” This was the W.E.B. Du Bois quote that Mehrsa Baradaran employed to end her presentation at a recent Economic Policy Institute event, The Color of Money with Mehrsa Baradaran. She followed up, grinning triumphantly and sharing her sentiment that maybe it’s about time to give real democracy a try. Her most recent book, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap is, in short, stunning.

Patricia Okoumou: Immigrant Warrior

James Abro was introduced to Patricia Okoumou at Middle College Church in Manhattan on July 7. He is a member of the church’s social and economic justice committees. She was there with a film crew to screen a documentary they are working on about Okoumou and her work. Ms. Okoumou is famously known as the woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 2018, protesting the Trump Administration’s immigration policy and inhumane detention practices.